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****For those of you dealing with addicts/alcoholics******
November 14, 2006
10:01 am
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atalose
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They are all the same, your addict/alcoholic is no different then the one who wrote this letter:

What Addicts Do

My name's -------. I'm an addict. And this is what addicts do. You cannot nor will not change my behavior. You cannot make me treat you better, let alone with any respect. All I care about, all I think about, is my needs and how to go about fulfilling them. You are a tool to me, something to use. When I say I love you I am lying through my teeth, because love is impossible for someone in active addiction. I wouldn't be using if I loved myself, and since I don't, I cannot love you.

My feelings are so pushed down and numbed by my drugs that I could be considered sociopathic. I have no empathy for you or anyone else. It doesn't faze me that I hurt you, leave you hungry, lie to you, cheat on you and steal from you.

My behavior cannot and will not change until I make a decison to stop using/drinking and then follow it up with a plan of action.

And until I make that decsion, I will hurt you again and again and again.

Stop being surprised.

I am an addict. And that's what addicts do.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 14, 2006
3:45 pm
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StronginHim77
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This is really good. Thanks, Atalose, for posting it.

- Ma

November 14, 2006
3:50 pm
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lettingo
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Here is one specificially from an Alcoholic but you also replace addict. It was literature from an Alanon meeting. Made be sobbed when I heard it because it was the beginning of my nightmare with my husband.

"I am an alcoholic. I need your help. Don't lecture, blame or scold me. You wouldn't be angry at me for having TB or diabetes. Alcoholism is a disease, ett.

November 14, 2006
3:59 pm
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lettingo
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Excellent on on the addict. My husband is an alcoholic/addict so I can say there is a lot truth it in. I am living proof!

Here is one specificially from an Alcoholic but you also replace addict. It was literature from an Alanon meeting. Made be sobbed when I heard it because it was the beginning of my nightmare with my husband.

"I am an alcoholic. I need your help. Don't lecture, blame or scold me. You wouldn't be angry at me for having TB or diabetes. Alcoholism is a disease, etc.

Don't pour out my liquor; it's just a awaste because I can always find ways of getting more.

Don't let me provoke you anger. If you attach me vertbally or physcially you will only confirm my bad opinion of myself. I hate myself enough already.

Don't let your lvoe and anxiety for me lead you inot doing what I ought to do for myself. If you assume my responsbilities, you make my failure to assume them permanenet. My sense of guilt will be increased and you will feel resentful.

Don't accept my promisis. I'll promise anything to get off the hook. But the nature of my illness prevents me from keeping my promises, even though I mean them at the time.

Don't make empty threats. Once you have made a decision stick to it.

Don't beleive everything I tell you; it may be a lie. Denial of reality is a symptom of my illness. Moreover, I'm likely to lose respect for those I can fool too easily.

Don't let me take advantage of you or exploit you in any way. Love cannot exist for long wihtout the dimension of justice.

Don't cover up for me or ty in any way to spare me the consequences of my drinking. Don't life for me, pay me bills, or meet my obligations. It may avert or reduce the very crisis that would prompt me to seek help. I can continue to deny that I have a drinking problem as long as you provide an automatic escape for the consequence of my drinking.

Above all, do learn all you can about alcoholism and your role in relation to me. Go to open AA meetings when you can. Attend Al-Anon meeting regularily, read the literature and keep in touch with Al-Anon members. They're the people who can help you see the whole situtation clearly.
I love you.
Your alcoholic.

November 14, 2006
5:30 pm
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thedogsmom
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thanks atalose and letting go.

yes.. I just discovered the "what addicts do" a few weeks ago..and I think that is what really made me see..that this is a NO-WIN situation here. because I have pleading for the man I married and love to change and he does care and means to change
but the 'addict' in him can't change.

So to help relieve myself of the awful 'guilty-feelings. I keep reminding myself that I am getting rid of the addict..and in doing so ..I must also rid myself of the man I remember.. But HE has the power to rid himself of the demon-addiction..ONly HE can do that... And hopefully..this sad change will force him to make some changes for his own good will and those that do love him.
TDM

November 14, 2006
5:51 pm
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lettingo
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thedogsmom,
Just curious, how long have you been married? I've been married to my husband ofr 4 1/2 years. He started have relapses with Precription drugs about two years ago then alcohol and now it's prescription drugs again. He definetely did evertything described in the addict discrption. It is very hard to leave someone especially when you are married to them and still love them. For me, I am trying to move out of this relationship. It has cause me more pain than an any person should have to take. Of course he is cleaned again and swears it is over. I ask myself am I willing to roll the dice again? My answer is saddely no! I used to have so much hope that this time really was the last. There is nothing more devastation when you find that it isn't true. It's a very difficult situation.

November 14, 2006
6:03 pm
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needtoheal
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thanks atalose , letting go and
thedogs mom for posting...

November 14, 2006
6:36 pm
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thedogsmom
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going on 8 years now. But the first 5 were Wonderful.. started having trouble the 6 the year...and then For two years ago in November he finally confessed the truth..that it was addiction to meth. He quit drug rehab that year...professed to be cured. and here we have been going in circles with the hopes and dissapointments that I too can not take the pain anylonger. I suppose I could IF I were the kind to keep moving forward..but the pain paralizes me..and I fall into depression and anger and lose myself..
So I thats why this has been so hard. I AM afraid that IF he leaves ..and EVEN if he does get better..that I will NOT be willing to take a chance with him again in the future.. SO I am so Sad cause I fear it is really over for us. And I do still love him. That's what I kept telling him. PLEASE make some changes WHILE you are still living here with me...because once I've had my breaking point... It may be too late.
Still holding strong.. cause..I don't want to spin in circles anmore.
I'm tired.
TDM

November 14, 2006
6:56 pm
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Rasputin
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(((ATAL))) Thanks hon for this great thread!

November 16, 2006
1:11 pm
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alysmom
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sigh!!!!!! I am tired ... weary and sick and tired of being tired. how do i not take responsibility for things that he doesnt do like pay the light bill buy groceries pay the rent pay auto insurance or child care or whatever else bill/ necessity you want to name.

November 16, 2006
1:22 pm
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atalose
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Staying with an active alcoholic you need to accept that he is incapably of those kinds of responsibilities and it's those things you will have to take sole responsibility for. There is always a price to pay for remaining in a relationship with an active addict and the quicker you understand what you’re compromising yourself into, the better you'll be able to accept these things without feelings of resentment.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 16, 2006
2:01 pm
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lettingo
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thedogsmom,

I can totally relate to your feelings. For the last two years it's been a mixture, of joy and hope that everything is going to be fine, to severe dissappointment and shock as a result of yet another relapse. Then comes the anger, fear, anxiety and depression until he again promises things will be different and I again do the whole thing again and again. It's a ride I want off of!!!

November 16, 2006
3:26 pm
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alysmom
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thanks so much for helping me begin to try and get away from this quilt of as it has been put to me "giving up on this marriage" I know it is a disease and he cant help himself but the thing is if he had TB or diabets etc he would go get help for this.... but he isnt willing to get help for this because he says it doesnt work. atalose i hear where you are coming from that he is "incapable" of handling those things he should but a's do it eveyday... they can say they are in program tryin to get off the ride as lettingo put it... well if he's not gonna do it i am... i want off this hell of a roller coaster that i have gotten myself on and am subjecting our innocent child to. now i know why i have never liked roller coasters. i go from out right ANGER to self blame in the blink of an eye or less and it has to STOP

November 16, 2006
3:56 pm
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atalose
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Self blame is the worse thing you can do to youself, it will keep you on that roller coaster and hooked to a dysfunctional way of life.
There are all kinds of A's out there, some can function, some cannot, most reply on others to do those things (pay bills) for them.
You have to remember that even though he has a disease, yes, he is chosing to NOT DEAL with it. Has he attempted to stop drinking in the past? If he made the statement that the help doesn't work, sounds like HE failed at recovery, not the millions of other people who've achieved it!!!
You are the only who can stop that roller coaster and get off, I think when the pain of staying becomes greater then the pain of letting go, you'll find the strength to leave.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 16, 2006
6:17 pm
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doubleloss
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does this also apply for a dry alcoholic, in recoery for 10 years?

November 16, 2006
7:03 pm
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thedogsmom
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yes- I'm quite sure most of us here on this site that have had similar experiences loving an addict...have been through the same roller-coaster ride of emotions...
the lows- when the addict has again hurt us with their, lies, deception, nights out on the town, or by having to pick up the slack and keep bailing them out of financial messes . THe highs- when we feel we have finally made a break-through with our mate...after some big old fight in which they now are willing to talk to us and make promises about plans to quit and to do better at home. then the dissapointment or even shock again when we find out the real truth again.. its so very tiresome and painful.
We were taught with the AA- thing ..that the addict..is like a 'disease' and you would not leave your mate for having 'cancer' ..would you?..
but whether we buy into the 'disease' model of an addict or feel it is just a weakness or bad choice or whatever....
once 'addicted'....we are stuck with deciding whether we want to stay with this addict or not. If we choose to stay.. then if married and with children.. we do get stuck picking up the slack including financial messes created by the addicts inability to be responsible for such things.
It truly is a tough decision. It can make a person feel guilty for leaving this 'addict' who has a disease. but I feel that yes.. true they now have this 'disease' called 'addiction'. Addiction is a very bad problem to have with a low success rate of people able to successfully quit their addiction. I suppose here you could relieve yourself of the guilt if you say... addiction is a disease. ONly the addict can rid themselves of the addiction. In other words.. there is NOTHING that you or I can do to make an addict stop using. The addicts desire to stop using and the addicts control over drug/alcohol use is all up to the addict.
But I cannot be married to an addict. It is just too difficult and it can't last cause there is no justice in it.! IT just isn't fair for others to have to suffer because of your 'disease'.
SO if the addict gets help and is 'cured' and your disease doesn't affect me ..then I can stay by your side. But if all you can do is cry.".I am an 'addict' and I 'cant' help this..I can't work cause I drank too much last night... AA meetings don't help me....blah..blah.."
then forget it.. I don't want to help anyone who is not helping themselves here. SO if YOU won't go to work..you- choose to keep drinking and miss your AA meetings..and quit the rehab.. then I have NO guilt choosing to leave you.
TDM

November 17, 2006
9:44 am
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atalose
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Dry drunk is a term used often by members of (AA) and by substance abuse counselors who beleive the theory of alcoholism to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking but whose thought processes are considered to continue to be distorted by the thought patterns of addiction.

[

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 17, 2006
9:51 am
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soprano2
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I think when the pain of staying becomes greater then the pain of letting go, you'll find the strength to leave.

What a profound statement this is. I am going to write it down and memorize it. I am going to put it everywhere that he is not just so I recognize when this happens (of course, I think it might have already happened, but the codependent in me always second guesses.)

November 17, 2006
9:57 am
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startingover
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Hi

This is a very meaningful thread to me. "What Addicts Do" opened my eyes when I first read it. Powerful stuff. I feel like it's the alcoholics in my life talking to me, and have read it many times over. Thanks for the post.

I don't know qbout the dry drunk, but my ex-husband was a binge drinker. He could go months without drinking, then get drunk as hell. That was his way of justifying that he "didn't have a drinking problem". Of course, his binges were unpredictable, and occurred mostly at home drinking, on holidays and weekends. I think his behaviors were different, whether he was actively drinking or not.

Hope this helps.

SO

November 19, 2006
5:37 am
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doubleloss
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hi atalose, you write "...who is no longer drinking but whose thought processes are considered to continue to be distorted by the thought patterns of addiction".

do you know more about the thoughts patterns of addiciton? where can i find info on that?

i am thinking that if i learn more about this it might help me to let go, whatever i'm doing is really not working. full NC is not feasible,

thank you!

November 19, 2006
9:45 am
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snubby
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soprano2, that statement is very profound. I'm going through that now. It hurts much more being with my husband than not--it is more peaceful. Separation is hitting me hard, but divorce will be better.

November 19, 2006
1:06 pm
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atalose
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doubless,
There are a number of books on amazon about "the thought process of addicts".
Have you or are you thinking about going to al-anon meetings?

you state:
i am thinking that if i learn more about this it might help me to let go, whatever i'm doing is really not working. full NC is not feasible.

What kind of things are you doing now?
And why is NC not feasible for you?

The one things I did learn was the more you continue to focus on HIS PROBLEM the less is allows you to work you own recovery.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 25, 2006
12:50 am
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I so understand about wanting to understand his problems. My therapist tells me I've come so far and I suppose I have...but on the other hand, I feel like I am living a new lie. I am not able to let go either. No matter what he does, I find a reason to hold on, even if it is just by a thread. I know in my head that the chances of it working for us is very slim. 1. He is, in my opinion not capable of taking care of himself (unable to make sound decisions about everyday things..like paying bills, etc)
2. Today, he has 6 months of being sober, but he lives in a controlled environment - I don't mean to take away from this, but I KNOW he KNOWS, he has no where else to go but the streets if he messes up, plus he knows the counselors in the sober living house is watching him - he doesn't dare mess that up.
3. He has some big emotional issues aside from alcoholism that he won't admit to.
I could continue, but there is no point..yes, I know I should cut the tie....but at this point and time, I don't want to ... I want him in my life (sometimes)...this means I deserve what I get...

November 25, 2006
12:59 am
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atalose
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honeyb

You and only you can decide when to cut your ties with this guy. It sounds like your mind is ready but your heart is not. I understand that and one day both will match up and today is not that day.
I am glad you are going to therapy that will help you understand why you feel the need to hang on. I don't know what you mean by living a new lie?

How is your relationship with him while he is living in a sober house? Do you see him regularly and go out?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 25, 2006
9:33 pm
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honeyb
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atalose, "living a new lie" - this is because while he was living with me and 'in the disease (as he refers to it)' he was constantly lying to me in order to fund his habit and i was lying to myself - and i suppose everyone around - in that i pretended things were ok for a long while. i told myself we are so in love, and even convinced myself that our story was a fairy tale story. and it is quite romantic if you only hear the 'sweet' parts. we were childhood sweethearts who had 'found' each other again after 30 years. his story is he had searched for me over those 30 years. he relocated from 2000 miles away to be with me. our love had never died..etc....then he gets here-his alcoholism rears its ugly head-lies, mental, emotional, and physical abuse occurs..etc....I KNOW IN MY HEAD, THIS RELATIONSHIP WILL NOT WORK--but my heart is silly, soft, and sentimental. The new lie is that my therapist says i've come so far...yet i KNOW how weak i really and truly am....there is contact with him. he phones my work everyday..i see him on rare occasions. he constantly tries to convince me to let him come 'home' because i am the love of his life and his soulmate....fortunately, i am wise enough to know sometimes love just ain't enough..i do not mean to make his sound all bad because he isn't.....i realize he is ill....but i can't fix him..i know this now...but i also can't see not having him in my life to some degree..so this is still not healthy...i am cautious enough not to let him know where i live..or have my cell phone number (both were changed after he went into treatment)..the last time he got drunk, he scratched my face out in a photograph...and of course he rationalized it was because he was drunk and angry at himself for letting me down...but i still say, drunk or sober he obviously has violence inside him. he says i analyze, re-analyze, over-analyze, then analyze everything far too much and this is how i come to the 'fears and conclusions' which he refers to as 'stinkin' thinkin'...i hope this is self preservation instead

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